by Fred McMillin
Winery of the Week
Burgundy by the Bay
"The vineyards and cellars of Burgundy are the most hallowed ground of all French vineyards. It has been said that it is the 'viticultural soul' of the nation, matchless throughout the world in the production of incomparable red and dry white wines."
...The Wines of Burgundy, by J. Baxevanis
Founded by 18-year-old Jean-Claude Boisset in 1961, the House of Boisset (bwah-say) today "is one of the largest wine firms of Burgundy."
...The Wine Atlas of France, by Duijker & Johnson
Twenty-six-year-old Jean-Charles Boisset, Jean-Claude's son, becomes the president of the new Boisset U.S.A. firm in 1992 with headquarters in San Francisco. It is soon providing ten million of Boisset's $100 million annual sales. Burgundy has come to the Bay with a bang!
In Burgundy, Jean-Claude created his juggernaut by buying, aging, blending and selling wine made by others. Jean-Charles Boisset is doing the same in the U.S.A., buying California wines, primarily. Appropriately, this operation was created in BURGUNDY. Let's look briefly at the region's history, to see when and why it developed.
You are going to find many fine values, which we'll cover in individual WineDay articles. Meanwhile, labels to try include the following:
Critic James Laube's evaluation of the Christophe products agrees with my panel's general reactions. He writes, "The wines are often very good, offering more character and flavor than wines two or three times their price."
There was a time when the wines of Burgundy were too good. They were so popular back in Rome that Emperor Domitian ordered all Burgundy's vineyards destroyed. The ban lasted two centuries.
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